Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Poll Shows Seniors Are Trending Toward Democrats

In the past few elections, the most reliable voting group for Republicans has been seniors (those 60 or above in age). Seniors vote in a larger percentage than other age groups do, and Republicans have counted on them to offset the votes of other age groups.

That's why this new poll show worry the heck out of Republican candidates. It shows that seniors are starting to move toward voting Democratic. Among all seniors, the GOP still has a lead, but that lead has shrunk from 6 points in 2016 to only 3 points in 2018. It is worse among college educated seniors -- moving from a 3 point deficit for Democrats in 2016 to a 7 point advantage in 2018. And the same is true of college educated White seniors -- going from a 10 point deficit for Democrats in 2016 to a 2 point advantage in 2018.

If these results are true (and I have no reason to doubt them), it could be disastrous for Republican candidates in November. To maintain their congressional majority, the Republicans need to have seniors vote for them with a substantial margin. If Democrats can split the senior vote, or come close to doing that, then it would be a great advantage for them -- especially since other groups seem to be energized for the coming election.

These charts contain information in a Reuters / Ipsos Poll that was done in the first three months of both 2016 and 2018. About 15,000 seniors were questioned, which would make the margin of error very small.

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